This section presents an overview of the major German film associations and organisations. This section does not include organisations, facilities or events that have a separate section dedicated to them in this Film Guide (such as archives, festivals, film schools or national and regional subsidies).
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | K | M | R | S | V
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Behinderung und Medien (Cooperative for Disabilities and Media)
Maintains a video library for the deaf and hearing-impaired and produces television films to raise awareness of the situation of the disabled among a wide audience. A data bank provides information on the topic “disability in film”.
Managing director: Peter Radtke.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Filmjournalisten
Verband der deutschen Filmkritik (VDFK) – German Film Critics’ Association
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dokumentarfilm – AG DOK (German Documentary Association)
Established in 1980, bringing together more than 750 documentary filmmakers. Its mission is to ensure that the documentary genre receives the attention it deserves, providing support in the production phase (including assistance with legal issues) and arranging television broadcasts and screenings at festivals. Today, no public debate on film issues would be conceivable without the involvement of this association. It also provides knowledgeable commentary on developments in film and television policy. It presents German documentary films at festivals (including events outside Germany). A database is maintained to provide information on films produced by the members.
Chairman: Thomas Frickel.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kino - Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater (Arthouse Cinema Co-operative)
A network of independent commercial cinemas, preceded by “AG Kino” (formed in 1972) and “Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater” (German Arthouse Cinema Guild – formed in 1953). They meet at the Filmmesse
, a film trade fair in Leipzig to view and evaluate new films (date: mid-September). A special website
shows the updated programmes of the member cinemas. A membership card (€6 a year) grants reduced admission to all member cinemas throughout Germany.
Board: Christian Bräuer, Managing Director: Felix Bruder.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kurzfilm – Bundesverband Deutscher Kurzfilm (German Short Film Association)
A representative and lobbying body for German short films, founded in 2002. Contact source for enquiries from abroad, from festivals and other operators. Short film programmes are presented in Clermont-Ferrand, France, and at the Berlinale. The Association works together with German Films in compiling and presenting German Film Weeks in foreign countries. In partnership with the Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the Association operates the website www.shortfilm.de
with news from the international short film scene. The catalogue German Short Films
is published once a year.
Board: Alexandra Gramatke, Alexander Stein, Andrea Wink.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Kino – Gilde deutscher Filmkunsttheater (Arthouse Cinema Co-operative)
Bayerisches Filmzentrum (Bavarian Film Centre)
On the premises of Bavaria Film (in the south of Munich), it provides operating facilities for young film producers, with fully equipped offices, support in all phases of film production, information and training programmes, support with film subsidy issues and preparation of funding applications. The „First Movie Programm“
supports up-and-coming authors in the development of their first projects.
Managing directors: Anja Karina Richter, Klaus Schaefer.
Berliner Arbeitskreis Film (Berlin Film Association)
Founded in 1974 by independent filmmakers based in Berlin. Establishes contacts between its members, fosters new projects and discussions on the politics of the media.
Bundesverband Deutscher Kurzfilm (German Short Film Association)
Bundesverband Jugend und Film (German Federation of Film Clubs for Children and Young People)
Has been supporting film-related activities for (and with) children and teens since 1970. The organisation operates a film rental service, conducts seminars and publishes a film rental catalogue as well as selected books on film work with children and young people.
Bundesverband Kamera - bvkamera (German Society of Cinematographers)
A professional association for cinematographers (and camera assistants). Formed in 1980. Over 500 cinematographers and their colleagues are members. The organisation publishes an annual Camera Guide
with data on all members. Job descriptions provide information about the profession.
President: Falko Ahsendorf.
Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit (Municipal Cinema Association)
Umbrella organisation for municipal cinemas in Germany (140 cinemas). Motto: “Show different films differently”. Maintains a small film distribution operation and puts together series. It also publishes a journal, kinema communal
(four issues a year) and awards two prizes at the Berlin Film Festival: the Caligari Prize (for a film on the programme of the International Forum of New Cinema) and the Liliput Prize (for films noteworthy for their excellent dubbing). Another publication is the Handbuch kulturelle Kinoarbeit
(a loose-leaf collection of practical tips and explanations on the key areas of culture-oriented cinema, currently out of print). The governing body includes, among others, Ulrich Gregor, Hilmar Hoffmann, Wim Wenders, Andres Veiel, Michael Verhoeven.
Chair: Christiane Schleindl.
Bundesverband Regie (Federal Association of Directors)
Established in 1975 as “Bundesverband der Fernseh- und Film-Regisseure in Deutschland” (Federal Association of Television and Film Directors in Germany). A professional association committed to the artistic, social, legal and economic interests of filmmakers (film and television directors). Over 700 members. Publishes a Regie Guide
(Directors’ Guide) with detailed information about its members. Job profiles relating to movie directing are provided.
Managing director: Jürgen Kasten.
Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft – FSK (Voluntary Self-Censorship Body of the German Film Industry)
Children, Films for
Förderverein deutscher Kinderfilm
Kinderkino München (Children’s Cinema Munich)
Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum in Deutschland – KJF (Centre of Films for Children and Young People in Germany)
Berlin-Brandenburg Centre for Film Research. Founded in 1991. Promotes research on German film and publishes Filmblatt
, a research journal. Monthly film series (in Berlin) on the unknown German film heritage are organised.
Bundesverband Kamera – bvkamera
Deutsche Filmakademie (German Film Academy)
Founded in 2003 to pool the creative forces in the German film world (comparable to the academies in Hollywood, Paris or London, for example). It has over 1,300 members from all sections of the German film industry. Its tasks include serving as a “virtual textbook for students and teachers” and, from 2005 on, awarding the German Film Prizes (the Lola awards), the country’s most highly-endowed cultural prize previously awarded by a jury commissioned by the Federal Ministry of the Interior.
Presidents: Iris Berben, Bruno Ganz. Board: Stefan Arndt.
Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dokumentarfilm (German Documentary Association)
Haus des Dokumentarfilms – Documentary Film Centre (European Media Forum Stuttgart)
FBW – Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung (Film Rating Centre in Wiesbaden)
Institution operated by the governments of the federal states (established in 1951 as FBW). It awards ratings of “valuable” and “highly valuable (all genres and running times).” In some states, these ratings lead to tax breaks or improved eligibility for film subsidies under federal legislation. The centre charges a screening fee to films submitted for ratings.
Director: Bettina Buchler.
Film Clubs for Children and Young People
Bundesverband Jugend und Film
Verband der deutschen Filmkritik (VDFK) – German Film Critics' Association
In the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz. Home of the Deutsche Film- und Fernseh-Akademie Berlin, the Filmmuseum Berlin – Deutsche Kinemathek and the Kino Arsenal, offices of the Berlinale, a bookshop specialising in film topics, a café (Billy Wilder’s).
Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft – SPIO (Umbrella Organisation of the Film Industry)
Die Filmschaffenden (The Film-Makers)
Umbrella organisation of 14 associations of film-makers (including sound, editing, props, casting), founded in 1994. Provides information on labour agreements, tackles issues concerning working conditions, presents job profiles of film-making professions.
Presidents: Eberhard Hauff, Jost Vacano, Ingrid Zoré.
Filmstadt München (Film City Munich)
Joint initiative of several groups working with film in Munich, including the organisers of Greek, Italian, Turkish film weeks. “For the many nationalities living in Munich we want to provide access to their authentic film culture.” Some projects are developed in co-operation with Munich City Library and with the Film Museum Munich. This work is sponsored by the city’s cultural department.
Head of the initiative: Ursula Wessler.
Förderverein deutscher Kinderfilm (Friends of German Films for Children)
Association dedicated to the promotion of German children’s films. Founded in 1978. It supports on-going production and widespread distribution of children’s films in Germany. Since 2000 further training for authors has been offered in an “Academy for Children’s Media”. A web publication provides information, aimed particularly at parents and teachers, on the current film programmes for children and teens.
Spokesperson: Margret Albers.
FSK - Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle der Filmwirtschaft (eine Einrichtung der Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft – SPIO) (Voluntary Self-Censorship Body of the German Film Industry)
An institution of the SPIO, umbrella organisation of the film industry. Established in 1949 by the film industry with the objective of evaluating films intended for public screenings. Nowadays the main task of the FSK revolves around the protection of young audiences (in agreement with a contract on youth protection drawn up by the federal states). The FSK decides on the release of films (in the cinema, as well as on video or DVD) for young audiences (divided into five age groups). FSK ratings are subject to screening fees. An online-version, „FSK Online“
, offers advice for youth protection on the internet.
German Films (formerly Exportunion des deutschen Films)
Founded in 1954 by producers and exporters to raise the cultural and economic profile of German films abroad, for instance at festivals and trade fairs. Today this is still a core element of its work. The emphasis is on feature films, but the organisation has also handled documentaries, shorts and made-for-TV productions since 2004. It is the point of contact for international festivals that want to include German films on their programmes. A journal, German Films Quarterly
, reports on German films in general and on specific films and projects. An online database provides information on films and brief descriptions of major festivals in Germany and abroad. German Films maintains offices in Argentina, France, the UK, Italy, Japan, Spain and the USA. Further activities: German Film Festivals organised each year in various capital cities (worldwide); also “Next Generation / Short Tiger”, an annual compilation of short films by students of the Universities of Television and Film in Germany (Premiere in Cannes). German Films is also responsible for the selection of the German entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the Oscars.
Managing director: Mariette Rissenbeek.
Haus des Dokumentarfilms - Documentary Film Centre (European Media Forum Stuttgart)
An independent institute (founded in 1991), members include, among others, the state of Baden-Württemberg, the public broadcaster Südwestrundfunk and other broadcasting corporations, the city of Stuttgart. It is dedicated to “collecting, researching and promoting German and international film and television documentaries.” For this purpose, the centre maintains an archive, currently with approximately 8,000 films from classics of the genre to current television productions (which cannot be loaned for legal reasons, however). The centre publishes brochures and books on documentary film; these include a three-volume German-language work, Geschichte des dokumentarischen Films in Deutschland 1895 bis 1945 (History of Documentary Film in Germany – 1895–1945)
. A further volume extending up to the present day is currently being prepared.
Chair: Egon Mayer. Managing director: Wilhelm Reschl.
Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft – SPIO (Umbrella Organisation of the Film Industry)
Institut für Film und Bild in Wissenschaft und Unterricht - FWU (The Institute for Film and Images in Research and Teaching)
Founded in 1950 by the German federal states to produce and make available audio-visual media for educational purposes, both in schools and elsewhere. Around 80 new educational films are produced each year. The films available are thus aimed primarily at schools and media centres.
Director: Michael Frost.
Institut für Medienpädagogik in Forschung und Praxis (JFF) (Institute for Media in Teaching)
Formerly Institut Jugend Film Fernsehen, the Institute for Media in Teaching was founded in 1949 on the initiative of Martin Keilhacker and is dedicated to the research and practice of media pedagogy. Its work also includes the publication of books. Directors: Kathrin Demmler, Ulrike Wagner. In Munich the Medienzentrum im Haus der Jugendarbeit (Media Centre in the House for Youth Projects) is available as a service centre (established by the Youth Welfare Office).
Managing Directors: Kathrin Demmler, Ulrike Wagner.
Kinderkino München (Children’s Cinema Munich)
Association to promote films for children and teens.
Headed by Hans and Christel Strobel, Münchner Kinderkino has become a model for the sensible use of films to entertain and educate children. The organisation has access to a cinema for regular film presentations (at the Munich Olympic Centre), and hosts an annual festival of children’s and teen films. It also publishes the journal Kinder- und Jugendfilm Korrespondenz
, now also available, since 2008, in an online version (and which contains all previous issues in digitalised form – an invaluable data bank on aspects of film for children and young people.)
Kinder- und Jugendfilmzentrum in Deutschland - KJF (Centre of Films for Children and Young People in Germany)
Central office, operating nationwide, for the coordination and initiation of various activities related to films for children and young people. It organises the annual competitions German Youth Photo Prize, German Youth Video Prize and Video of the Generations. Recommendations for films and videos/DVDs are published regularly. Furthermore, a (small) film archive is maintained. Director: Eva Bürgermeister.
Director: Eva Bürgermeister.
Media in Teaching
Institut für Medienpädagogik in Forschung und Praxis (JFF)
Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit
FBW – Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung
AG Kurzfilm – Bundesverband Deutscher Kurzfilm
Spitzenorganisation der Filmwirtschaft - SPIO (Umbrella Organisation of the Film Industry)
Founded in 1950 in Wiesbaden to represent the interests of the German film business (and later the television and video business). This umbrella organisation has nine industry associations as members, including the professional associations representing film producers, distributors, exporters and cinemas. It offers an index of titles and operates a statistical department, which publishes the annual Filmstatistische Jahrbuch
. The SPIO maintains the FSK (Voluntary Self-Censorship Body of the German Film Industry).
Managing director: Christiane von Wahlert, Helmut Possmann.
Verband der deutschen Filmkritik (VDFK) German Film Critics’ Association (formerly Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Filmjournalisten)
Professional association, founded in 1954, bringing together more than 300 film critics and film journalists. It is active as a film policy lobby group and is represented in film funding bodies. Colloquia on topical film themes take place at regular intervals. Each year it selects the winners of the German Film Critics’ Awards (in various categories), which are presented during the Berlinale. In addition to current affairs reports, the Association’s website contains a collection of texts on German film.
Spokesperson: Hanns-Georg Rodeck, Managing director: Andrea Dittgen.www.vdfk.de
Verwertungsgesellschaft Bild-Kunst (Collecting Society Pictorial Arts)
The Society protects copyrights in the visual arts sphere. In the film trade directors, cinematographers, editors, set and costume designers as well as producers can become members and consign the protection of their copyrights to the Society.
Managing director: Gerhard Pfennig.